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Santorum 12, Romney 7, Virginia 7, America 7, Newt Gingrich 7, Gingrich 6, Michigan 6, Georgia 6, Washington 5, Obama 5, Debbie Wasserman Schultz 5, Us 4, United States 3, Ron Paul 3, Mark Halperin 3, Mike Murphy 3, Limbaugh 3, Savannah 2, Nbc 2, Shoulders Green Apple 2,
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  MSNBC    Meet the Press    News/Business. A moderator  
   interviews a leading public figure. (CC)  

    March 4, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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this sunday, a special edition of "meet the press," previewing super tuesday. the big ties to the gop race for the white house. after michigan, can mitt romney build on the lead and solidify himself as the presome thattive nominee. can santorum win ohio and chart a course to the nomination. can newt gingrich win his home state of georgia as he tries to emerge as the romney alternative? with us, newt gingrich, and eric cantor will weigh into the
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nomination fight, and with the view from the democrats, debbie wasserman schultz. and plus our political roundtable this morning, what to look for on tuesday, and the president's emerging campaign. on the road, looking under the hood, and fighting for middle class votes. >> i place my bet on the american worker! and i will make that bet any day of the week. with us, republican strategist, mike murphy, and a political analysts for "time" magazine, al paw rins, and savannah guthrie. the republican race is coming down to a battle for delegates, and mitt romney is in the lead winning his fifth straight contest last night in washington state.
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final results show mom rebeating ron paul, and santorum in third, fourth with 10%. the former speaker is counting a big win tuesday in his home state of georgia, and first we have super tuesday polls to view so i want to turn to my partner, nbc's political director, chuck todd. it's all about the math and the maps. >> it is ohio, the marquee race wedged in between mitt romney's home of michigan, and newt gingrich's home. what is interesting here, the early vote advantage, david, that romney had in michigan and other states, and that only leads four in those folks that already voted. romney, dominant among those voters that care most about electabili electability. the other key race on super tuesday was virginia, but two
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people failed to get on the ballot, rick santorum and gingrich. and mitt romney, a commanding lead here, 69% over ron paul with 26%. anything over 50%, mitt romney wins all 46 delegates. we did do a what if. romney's lead would have been cut in half had santorum and gingrich made the ballot. and this is less about primaries, and more about delegates. here is the map, super tuesday. 424 delegates will be handed out on tuesday night. as far as who will win how many states, and mitt romney probably guaranteed four wins, and he could win as many as eight or nine states. here is what to watch for. 180-200 delegates would be a good night for the romney campaign. i got him up to 211. we will see if he gets the
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majority in idaho and places like that. and ohio, and tennessee, and romney could put it away. the gingridge could be up, but romney is there today in atlanta. let's turn to the former house speaker, newt gingrich. mr. speaker, welcome back to the program. >> david, it's good to be with you. >> i want to talk about the campaign and the numbers i just went through with chuck todd. i have to ask you about access to contraception. i know it's not at the core of your stump speech, but it's a debate highly charged in washington and congress -- >> no, no. >> but, it s. mr. speaker. let me take you through the
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conversation with rush limbaugh, and something he now apologized for. let me play it. >> what does it say about the college coed, susan fluke that goes before the congressional committee and says she must be paid to have sex. what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? a prostitute? she wants to be paid to have sex. >> limbaugh issued an apology yesterday which many may not know about, and he said in this instance i choes the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. i did not mean a personal attack on ms. fluke. how much damage has this done? >> david, i am astonished at the
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desperation of the elite media, to avoid gast rising gas prices, and to avoid a trillion-dollar deficit and to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the great depression, and suddenly decide that rush limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week. there's no debate about access to contraception. there's a debate, which one cardinal pointed out, as a war against the catholic church. do you have a weird situation where president obama apologize to islamic extremist, while waging war against the catholic church, and ythat's something i don't find any reporter wants to talk about. you have a president -- if you want to have a dialogue about this david, let's set the record
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straight. barack obama, as a state senator, voted to allow doctors to kill babies if they survive t abortion. that's the most radical move made by a -- >> mr. speaker. >> wait a second. let me finish. >> they say they would have to give up every single hospital and every single university and college associated with the church, because he is asking them to violate their religious beliefs. if you want to debate over whether or not the president of the united states should be able to impose his views on a religious institution as to whether america is now a secular country, let's have that debate. >> do you think it was harmful that -- was it appropriate for him to apologize or do you think he's done damage to the debate you are now getting into?
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>> okay. i think it was appropriate for rush to apologize and i am glad he apologized. do you think the president owes an apology to all the men and women in uniform who he abandon abandoned? >> i will get to my question -- >> i am happy to get into that discussion. >> my question is you want the other side to appreciate your view, which is that this is a religious liberty question at the heart of this access to contraception. can you appreciate the view of those that disagree with you that this is an attack on women's rights, that's their reproductive rights and access to contraception and some sort of war on women, do you appreciate that view at all? >> wait. wait. nobody is blocking anybody from having access to contraception. nobody. the young lady who testified can get access to contraception.
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nobody said they couldn't. the question is who the ohio christian university, which is a institution that is being told they will have to pay for abortion pills. should they be dictated to over whether or not it can be its own religious beliefs, or have we become a country where we can go to church for one hour, but don't express those beliefs for the rest of the week, and it's not about access to contraception. people who want to can get access to contraception every day. that young lady can get access to contraception. it's a question about whether or not a religious affiliated institution can be coerced by the government. >> you don't like the framing of it, but the fact that it gets raised, it will get you animated
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and it will energize a lot of voters on both sides of the aisle? >> i don't like the framing because it was false. that young lady has access to contraception. what the question is, is should a religious affiliated institution be required to provide abortion pills or stashlization. remember, the obama rule was more than just contraception. by the way, mitt romney was on the wrong side of the issue in massachusetts where he instructed the catholic hospitals would be required to issue abortion pills against their religious beliefs. this is a very serious fundamental right against religious freedom. >> fair enough. let's go to the state of your campaign. if you don't win georgia can you keep going? >> look, i thought it was vital to the campaign and we focused on it and as a result despite a lot of money spent against me, we are doing very well and i think we will windy i decisivel.
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i thought frankly, as i said it earlier about romney in michigan and santorum in pennsylvania, very hard for one of the major candidates to not carry their home state and continue to move forward. so we thought it was very important. we feel very good about it. i will be back again tomorrow night and on tuesday morning, and i will be at the next county chamber of commerce. we worked hard to make sure we can carry georgia, and all the polls indicate we will carry georgia. >> as long as you are in the race and santorum is in the race, the anti-romney candidate is splitting up those votes. what is your case about why santorum should give up the fight and why he is in your view not an electable candidate? >> he can run as long as he wants to. we had this dialogue a month and a half ago. i keep coming back. i have twice been the
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frontrunner in the national polls, and with the gasoline, and i think we're coming back again for a third time. but, rick has every right to run. i think outside of industrial states, having been a very big union senator, having voted against the right to work and having voted for david which costs billions in order to prop up the unions, santorum has a harder time when he gets outside the industrial states. but in a sense he and i represent two parts of conservatism. i am much more willing to do things like having personal social security savings accounts for young people and talking about the kind of solutions we need for being able to produce oil and gas and be independent of the middle east, and we have different approaches to how we
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represent conservatism. >> and i want to talk about iran and something president obama spoke out about in an interview, and this is a portion of the interview. he said i think the israeli government recognizes, i am a president of the united states that don't bluff. but they recognize when the united states says it's acceptable for them to have that we mean what we say. >> i can't tell, because i can never tell from this particular president what, you know, what's the next step. the sanctions process has not worked. we have had three years of talking. i think we have to recognize that. this is a dictatorship that we had a chance to affect a couple years ago and did nothing.
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i don't know what the president will do or say. my view is that an israeli prime minister could not possibly allow the iranians to acquire nuclear weapons. israel is such a small country and compact in population. no israeli prime minister could accept that risk. the fact is they should be told they are not going to of nuclear weapons, and i think the iranians do not believe him and that's why -- all the iranian facilities are being dug underground and designed to withstand a bombing campaign, and that's a very bad sign. >> a few seconds left, and given how hard fought this primary campaign has been so far, if mitt romney is the eventual
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nominee, do you think it's possible for him to ignite the republican party? >> whoever the nominee is, and we discussed this a little bit when we were all three together yesterday, and whoever the nominee is, we will work together to defeat barack obama, period. people should not be confused about that. the re-election of barack obama is such a disaster to the future of the country i think you will find the republican candidates come firmly together behind the nominee. >> we will leave it there. thank you. >> thank you. joining me now, eric cantor. >>. >> to be here. >> you have not chosen sides in the nomination fight. >> what i have seen was a very hard fought primary throughout the last couple months, and we have seen the central issue of the campaign is about the economy, and the country has to make a choice. who is going to be best able to
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lead the country to create jobs and people can feel better about the future? i think there's one candidate in the race that can do that, and that's mitt romney. he's the only candidate in the race that put forward a bold progrowth, projobs plan for the future. a lot of the things he is talking about in his plans we are working at in the house of representatives. i look at mitt romney winning all the virginia delegates. i cast my vote already, and i am endorsing mitt romney in his candy fca canadidacy for the president of the united states. >> why? >> mitt is the only one that knows how to create jobs and he is the only one that put forward the plan to do that. it lowers taxes for everybody that pays income taxes. it will result in redugsed red
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tape for small businesses. it will help us get back on track. that's why i think that mitt romney is the man for this year. i believe this is a historic election. no question about it, the kinds of challenges we face. he is the only one in the race that put forward these kinds of solutions, and i think he can beat barack obama in november. >> why is it so tough for him? what is the problem he is having with conservatives in the party that got him to a point where not super tuesday represents an opportunity to slam the door shut? >> again, the hard-fought primary has been full of all kinds of issues, but one thing that can bring people together in the country is the economy and jobs. it's the same situation we're dealing with in congress. and that is, we're looking for ways to bring people together. this plan, this progrowth plan that mitt romney put forward is something that i think the more people look into the details and see that plan, and the more they will rally behind mitt romney.
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he just had a double digit win last night in washington, and i suspect he will do very well on tuesday and super tuesday. >> in your own state, santorum and gingrich failed to get on the ballot. was that a sign to you that he was a weak candidate and not ready for the nomination? >> clearly i think the campaigns were not in the preparation mode early enough to do what they needed to do to get on the ballot. at this point the voters of virginia have two choices, and is that to vote for mitt romney or ron paul, and i would say there's a potential of people that would like to wrigte in. >> well, yeah, mitt romney is the only one on the ballot. >> and he has ron paul on the ballot as well. >> would you be open to being considered for the role of vice president -- >> no, this is about mitt romney
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and making sure that he is put into office, and no, this is not about that, and i am not open to that. i am privileged to feel that i can represent the people of virginia in congress, and obviously i was voted in by my colleagues as the majority leader and look forward to serving. >> not open to being vice president? >> no. >> let me talk about this issue that i talked about with speaker gingrich, and the fight over contraception over the airwaves and the congress and the house and sthat. what do you think about what rush limbaugh said? >> i don't condone that type of language in any arena, including the arena -- political arena. >> you think that was wrong? >> yes, and rush said as much. >> mitt romney has not come out to reput yat rush limbaugh. do you think he missed an opportunity to stand up and say
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stop it, we should be focused on the economy and not contraception? >> i think there's no question that mitt romney's candidacy is about the economy. >> my question is did he miss an opportunity to spell it out? he didn't use language as strong as you did against rush limbaugh. >> again, i think mitt romney has been very clear. he is somebody that is focused on the economy. this issue. rush has apologized. if you ask mitt romney, david, i am sure he would agree those were insulting words just as rush characterized his own language. >> did the house make a mistake by not having fluke testify in the first place at a hearing first dominated by men on this issue of the hhs ruling and contraception being covered by insurance, and do you think there was a mistake giving power to this issue? >> this issue is about religious freedom. think about it. it's the obama administration
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and the president telling the catholic church what the catholic faith means. to me and to you, we are members of a minority faith. this country stands for religious freedom. so many people in the world come here for that reason alone so you can practice your faith. it's central to who we are as a country. >> but the rule says you can exercise conscience, but the insurance company would have to directly provide access to contraceptives and insurance coverage. >> what the rule does is allow for an exception to the rule if a faith-only ministers with people of that faith. you know the religions are about philanthropy and charity to all, and for a government to sit here and tell a faith what they can and can't do is inappropriate. and there's an issue of
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confusion around religious freedom. >> are you concerned -- or i should say, do you appreciate the view of women like the chairman of the democratic party, debbie wasserman schultz, who will come and say this is about the rights for women? >> nobody is denying access. no, it's not about that. it's about the administration and the president saying to the catholic church that we know what your faith holds and you have to abide by that. it would be like saying to those of us in the jewish faith, we know what the laws being kosher means, and we will tell you what that means. that's not who we are, and this has no place in american politics. it's important that we uphold the religious freedom, because it's at the core of who we are as a country.
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>> the dow jones industrial average across that threshold of 13,000 this past week before falling back, and getting back to where it was before the financial crisis. that's an important psychological boost for a lot of americans. is it more difficult as a political matter for mitt romney or for you as the leader in the majority to make that case that this president failed to lead the country. >> what is good for our country is good for the country, and vicevis vur saw. too many people are still out of work. if you look at how jobs were created in this country, most of them come from small businesses. over the last three years, we have seen a reduction in the amount and number of startup businesses by 23%. and that's what mitt romney's economic plan gets, it tries to say we will create an environment for intrapreneurs to create jobs and start businesses again. we have a lot of competition out in the world and it's important
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for america to succeed. frankly, all the issues that you talked about on this show that we face abroad, america has a critical leadership role there and we have got to fix our ailing economy and that's what mitt romney's plan does. >> part of that, of course, i wonder as a leader in the congress, if you would counsel republicans running for president, not to use gas prices as a political club against the president when it's a failure of leadership, is it not on the part of the republicans and democrats going back decades here, to fail to achieve energy independence, and be surgeon to the whims of instability in the middle east that makes the prices go up and down. >> let's call it how it is. this president and his administration are hostile to fossil fuel. the reality is we will be a nation dependant on the foss annual fuel for the foreseeable future. we can look for opportunities
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for alternative sources, but at this point we got to and should rely on all the energy sources here at home. >> he expanded drilling leases -- >> the reality is, and he will claim the production of energy is at an all-time high, but what we see is the issuance of permits and the policy of allowing for the proceeding of deep ocean drilling is not matching his rhetoric. so it's very clear. he's hostile to fossil fuels and coal and oil, and he is hostile to gas. we need a definitive statement by this president that we will have a national energy policy, because it's critical to a growing economy that we do that. >> do you blav mitt romney has the nomination locked up after tuesday? >> it will be a hard-fought race to the end. >> it goes to the convention, in
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other words? >> that's a pundits' answer. he will do well in my home state of virginia and do well on super tug tuesday, and he is the fwi that will be the nominee, and we will have a clear choice going with mitt's plan versus that of the president. >> do you think it's time for santorum to step out of the race. >> i think our system allows anybody to participate in the process and i think mitt romney will win the nomination and win the nomination in november. >> here i thought i would keep you in a weak moment. democrats say the republicans are waging a war on women. will it be a lasting issue in the 2012 campaign? the chair of the democratic party, debbie wasserman schultz joins us next. and later, our political roundtable previews super tuesday where 400 delegates are at stake and it can be a game changer.
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joining me now, florida congresswoman, debbie wasserman schultz. nice to have you here in the studio. let he ask you about the issue of contraception and the fight over social issues. just as i asked the two other guests i have had this morning, can you appreciate where they are coming from, which is that this is not a war on women which they say is a vast overstatement or about access to contraception, but this is about religious liberty that started with the president's new regulation about faith institutions and access and who plays for contraception? >> well, if it's not a war on women, then let's look at what happened this week in contraception. first, you had the blunt rubio bill that was on the floor in the united states senate that wouldn't just deal with making sure that women couldn't have ak
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sessi access to contraception, and it said any boss could use their own moral conviction to decide what access women had, and making sure women would have their own access to health care whether it's mammograms or contraception, and that's decided by their boss. that was defeated in the senate. the republicans want to go further than just saying women should not have access to contraception. they want to say bosses should decide what kind of access to health care women could have. >> who is saying access to contraception will be cut off -- even the president's rule on the compromise allows insurance will have to pay for it directly. >> the president's policy has made sure that contraception, which is expensive, is going to be able under the affordable care act without a copay and deductible. so if you say that can't happen, and if you say a boss can
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replace their own moral convictions with the policy, then that's how the republicans are supposing the limits to contraception. and then rush limbaugh criticized a young law student that stood up and said, look, at georgetown law school, not only am i required to pay for my own insurance, because they require all students to pay for health insurance, but contraception is not covered, and what did he do? he called her a slut. a slut. i am sorry. i know he apologized, but forgive me if i doubt his sincerity, given that he lost six advertisers. the bottom line is the leading candidate on the republican's side of the president could not bring himself to call rush limbaugh's comments outrageous. >> you are talking about mitt romney? >> yes.
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and rush limbaugh said he was trying to be humorous. i don't know of any woman in america that thinks being called a slut is funny. >> and this is what the democratic party wants to run on? >> there's a dramatic contrast between president obama and his view that women should have access to affordable health care including contraception, and mitt romney and the republicans believe women should not. >> you are presenting as a binary choice, and there's another aspect to it. the new york post covered it this morning, and they said we live in an era that experts new rights each day and then expect government to pay for it. you heard gingrich and you heard leader cantor saying this is about infridgement of liberty, and can't you appreciate this is a deeply held view -- >> absolutely, and so could
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president obama which is why he balanced religious liberty. he made an accommodation in his policy and said religious employers would not have to pay for contraception but the insurance companies should, and he struck a balance recognizing there's a need to protect religious liberty while forcing women not to choose to work for a employer that is against that coverage. >> it's never good politics for an incumbent when gas prices go up. both sides failed to provide a long-term answer to the issue. republicans and democrats. bill clinton, the former president said that keystone pipeline, the president ought to get behind that. do you think the president makes himself vulnerable by not doing everything possible to protect america against the instability in the middle east that could
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make gas prices spike up? >> first of all, the republicans made it more difficult when they clearly limited the decision-making process to two months. the state department indicated they would need a year, and they shortened the tax extension that timeframe to two months, so forcing president obama to reject it at this point, particularly because the republ republican governor said something about the keystone pipeline. it would take 45 years if the keystone pipeline were in place to produce as much oil as president obama's policy on fuel efficiency standards for american auto bills would increase over the next few years. >> so president clinton had it wrong when he encouraged president obama to get behind this? >> what is important to note is that we need to make sure that
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we start the right balance in looking at the timetable for approval on key stones, and acknowledging the republican governor of neb expressed concern, and also realistically, not looking at keystone as the be all and end-all. it would take 45 years to produce out of an oil shell as much oil as we save in the increase in fuel efficiency standards from president obama's policy that will be implemented by the middle of the next decade. >> we will leave it there. thank you very much. appreciate it. coming up, what to look for on super tuesday? can romney emerge as the front runner again? and our political roundtable is here. and o[ male announcer ]table is this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track,
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we're back with the political roundtable. joining me, political analyst for "time" magazine, mark halperin, and nbc's own savannah guthrie, and a strategist, mike murphy, and kasim reed. let's go to the trend tracker. number one, romney wins washington as he prepares to go into super tuesday, and the limbaugh apology, which we covered this morning and the fact that ohio is now a toss up.
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mark, what are you looking for on tuesday? this is a good preview. >> mitt romney will come out of tuesday the nominee no matter what happens. he will win vermont and massachusetts and virginia, if he loses ohio, things will drag on for longer, and it would be nice for him if he overwhelmed the delegation, and i think he will no matter what. if he can win tennessee, something else. >> and here are some of the keys for romney on the math and narrative. i will put it up on the screen. the economy, i noticed him focusing on the economy and selling himself as a fiscal conservative, and he's clearly concerned about erosion of support among independents and he wants to distance himself from the extreme. he has been error prone on the campaign trail, but this is a test mike murphy, if he can build on the success, and that's
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the opportunity for tuesday. >> michigan gave him a big microphone. that washington state win was indicative. he is definitely moving up. and the question is how does he use this moment? this thing is always about two things, the delegate map where he is doing well and the narrative of win sning and losi. romney may not be able to win in the south, but if he can win ohio, and florida, and those are the biggest two states in the general election and he wins tennessee, which i think can do, and i think that will be the big surprise, and he picks up support even in newt gingrich's georgia, and he will win it for free. and then i think you will inbound a pretty commanding place for the nomination. on behalf of the republican establishment, it's about time, because we want to get it over because we see the independent voters carroding as we scare
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them. >> and a national democratic voice and supporter of president obama, you have to like all the dysfunction and the hard-fought nature of this primary? >> they have to have a strong tuesday. but what is happening is the core consub-tives, newt gingrich, and santorum, they are damaging. you can't talk about the olympics, because they turn that into a commentary on earmarks. his signature bill was a health care bill. the problem that he has is he has true conservatives making attacks opposed to democrats. >> savannah, the issue we talked about a lot this morning, is the issue of contraception. are we talking about religious liberty or a war on women, or rush limbaugh, and --
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>> they want to have the fight every time they are talking about contraception. i think both parties think they have a winner here. rush limbaugh reframed the debate on democrat's terms. and the republicans are trying to say at last how the health care plan intrudes on religious liberty. he said words anybody would find offensive. i think potentially, romney lost an opportunity to speak out forcefully against rush limbaugh. this was not a gray area. look no further than the fact that even rush limbaugh apologized for it. on the other hand, it would have shown political courage and backbone and i think that would help him with conservatives.
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>> it -- >> the big myth about rush limbaugh, he cannot deliver a pizza let alone a boat. a lot of noise. people cover him like he is 8 king of the republican party. that said, this was an opportunity for mitt to push back, and even santorum said it was absurd. and i think it was a lost opportunity for his campaign. they can do the 30 yards in the cloud of dust campaign to be the nomination. they have to watch the general election, too, or it will be a worthless nomination. >> and the president has overreached perhaps by calling the college student. the democrats want to make the most of the opportunity, but to me that seemed nakedly political. >> the whole thing was cringe worthy.
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>> i don't think it was an overreach, but it was clearly political. if you look at romney versus obama on this, and the president talking about both braeshation for religious liberty, and no other politician in the country has seen that classic look. and romney nazising the m-- not season the moment. >> when mitt romney said i will not light my hair on fire. this is an issue where he wants to run, as i say, as a fiscal conservative. does that not pay dividends for him in a general election? >> i don't think it does, because he is not being consistent. the fact of the matter is he should have made a comment. i don't think it's an overreach for the president on call.
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mitt romney, he has conversation. it was not a mistake. the future of politics is performance, and it shows mitt romney is not adepth at changing or responding to the environment or thinking on his feet. >> i am a good friend of mitt romney's and i want him to win, but i get frustrated, because i know somewhere, or i believe that mitt heard about it and it's a double hockey sticks moment, and he was unhappy with it, and that romney, many of us know personally and if the country saw that, he would be doing much better. >> and in our nbc poll reveals, a tale of two states here. this is likely the republican voters in ohio and virginia, and satisfied or would you like the see somebody else run? in ohio, 47% would like to see somebody else run, and this is not a beloved frontrunner in
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mitt romney. >> it's not a beloved feel at all, and you have to wonder dwr the marquee republicans never got in the race. depending how things turn out in november, a lot of republicans will be doing soul searching. super tuesday does not hold the potential for a candidate to come in and have the decisive vote that whittles down the field. there's no incentive to get out of the race. now these super pacs, a single donor can come in and keep one going, and the longer that goes on the harder for mitt romney, and he has a lot of ground to make up there. >> mark halperin, we talked this week, a key phrase, can he reunite the party? that's what successful parties
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do. is he capable of doing that? >> getting cantor's support is a good sign. part of the people that he has to reunite is the people out in the country and the independent leading republicans who see him waging the battle day in and day out. that's not enhancing his representation. the party, i think, will be reunited. he has to worry, independents, women, hispanic, groups that he is not attending to, a politician could unite with those groups. >> i have no worries about that at all. the question is if -- i think he will be the nominee, and i don't think the race is over at all. but it's not going to be republicans if he loses, he will get -- that's why you call them the base, you get them, they are free. it's everybody else, and that's the election. >> if you look at where mccain
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was in 2008 at this juncture in the race, even romney allies will acknowledge they have a much bigger hole to climb out of because of the nature of the republican primary. >> and there's something we came across. here is mitt romney offer riinge analysis on himself. he told reporters the greatest lesson from his last campaign is he needed to sell his own image before his opponent put him on the defensive. i learned if you don't define yourself your opponent will define you. that was 2002. he has been struggling for a long time. >> yeah, i feel sorry for him because he did catch a radicalized republican primary right now. and if obama had a primary, some nuisance candidate would take 25% and we would be talking about that. half the republican primary wants to burn washington down.
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they don't want to fix a guy like mitt romney. and that's his problem, he has rough terrain there. we have had a 40% swing in two years back and forth. and so you can't predict where some go, but given time and the right kind of attention, romney is the guy that can get that vote in the end. >> when you were here last, you said he has to talk about the auto bailout. he is hering you, and he is doing that. we know attitudes about the economy are improving. where are you worried about the supporter of the president as he gets closer to a general election. >> i think he is right to think about the auto decision he made around the bailout, but i think the president has effectively put himself in a position to win michigan and to win ohio and do well there. on the fuel cost we are dealing with, he has to let folks know that he has empathy.
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and he has too let the american public know that he is doing everything single thing that he can, because folks will feel a pinch around the gas pumps and prices. he has to have a conversation about his grand bargain. he has to continue to talk about his efforts to reduce the deficit and get out in fronts of that right now. >> mark halperin, eric cantor endorsed mitt romney. you have newt gingrich saying the party will be united behind him and the religious liberty issue is a force for republican voters as far as he can see. does super tuesday represent the end? is it possible santorum and gingrich do more than fade away? do they get up? >> i think both of them are looking to go one-on-one with him. and mike pointed out earlier, we have southern tests coming up where romney will struggle.
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whatever happens on tuesday, if romney can win ohio and illinois, he can effectively win the race. romney, this whole year, can romney do this, and this defined by a lot of things. can he do that? >> we will leave it there. thank you very much. we invite you to visit our facebook timeline that we compiled together, 64 years. savannah saw it this morning. and i sat down with a couple guys, and that's online. on tuesday night, complete kults and analysis. that's ♪ uhh! [ alyson ] just keep walking...
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